The "Field" behind 380 Mt. Prospect Ave.

by Mark Franklin


Having grown up in Newark, born in 1959, my family lived at 114 4th Ave, the brick house with the "brick like" swimming pool in front" We moved in 1967 to 363 Parker Street, between 2nd Ave. and Abington.

This neighborhood was like having culture shock, the homes were so big, the area looked "rich" and was so quiet. We got to know most of the kids in the neighborhood, some new friends, some we knew from Saint Michael's Grammar School.

On Clifton Avenue between 2nd Ave. and Abington Ave, sat "The Field". This was an empty, unkempt lot behind the 380 White High Rise on Mt. Prospect Ave. Although unkempt, this was the perfect foil for the neighborhood kid's discontent. During the long hot summers we would gather for epic all day baseball games. We even would steal our families lawnmowers out of our garages to play "groundskeepers". Once we cut down the sometimes foot tall grass we could play some great games from morning until evening. When we could not cut down the grass and we would lose a baseball, we would then walk in a single file line to find the one ball we had! Suffice to say, we NEVER lost a ball to that unkempt grass.

Once autumn came around and the grass died, we then showed up here after school with all our "Visco's" football equipment, and again played epic tackle games until we were called home or just too tired to play anymore. On Saturdays in fall we would sometimes play 5 or 6 games there, not stopping for breakfast, lunch or dinner. We loved it that much.

We had so many sets of brothers in this neighborhood. We were: The Franklins, The Perillos, The Anons, The Cuestas, The Joshis, The McMonagles, The Quinones's, The Holmans, Nicky Franicola, Anthony Montalbano, Jimmy Camparo, Jorge Santa, James Rachiele, Nicky Tribley, "the late" Tony Andrade, Carlos "Chico" Rocha, John Clyde, Billy Petrucci, Michael Young, sometimes we would get a DelVecchio brother to play as well as anyone walking through from outside the "local" parameter.

It's hard to remember spending time anywhere else when we were kids! We would just call each other on the phone and say "The Field at 9:00"


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